Mauritius trade deficit in 2008 was 25% higher th an in 2007, with total imports reaching US$4.15 million and total exports worth US$2.15 million in 2008, resulting in a trade deficit of US$2 million, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
In its latest bulletin released in Port-Louis Thursday, the CSO indicated that E uropean countries were the main trading partners of the island, purchasing about 67.9% of its total exports for US$1.26 million.
The United Kingdom remained the most important market, with a share of 34% of to tal exports.
The other major destinations for Mauritian exports are France (13.4%), United St ates (6.7%), Madagascar (5.9%), Italy (4.6%) and South Africa (3.6%).
Compared to the year 2007, total exports to the United Kingdom, France, United S tates and Madagascar went down by 7.8%, 10.5%, 16.3% and 9.1% respectively.
A decrease of 25.8% was also recorded in total exports to the United Arab Emirat es (UAE) as a consequence of the decrease in re-exports of cellular phones.
However, exports to South Africa, Reunion and Seychelles registered increases of 8.6%, 10.8% and 32.8% respectively.
Meanwhile, total imports for 2008 stood at US$4.15 million, showing an increase of 9.5% over the year 2007.
During 2008, imports from the Asian continent, Mauritius’ major supplier, amount ed to US$2.24 million, with a share of 54.1% of total imports.
Its imports originated mainly from the following countries: India (23.9%), China (11.5%), South Africa (8.1%), France (7.7%), Japan (4.1%), Spain (2.8%), Malaysia (2.6%), Italy (2.5%), Australia (2.4%) and United States (2.4%).
The high share of India in the island’s import bill is explained by the fact tha t India is its main supplier of petroleum products since the last quarter of 2006
Total exports to African, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) States during the year 200 8 stood at US$237.5 million, against imports of US$484.3 million. The trade deficit with ACP countries worked out to US$246.8 million.
During the year 2008, Mauritian exports to COMESA countries reached US$156 milli on, while imports from these countries amounted to US$125 million, resulting in a favourable trade balance of US$31 million for the island. Madagascar was the m ain buyer with a share of 70.2%.
The main products exported to Madagascar were preparations used in animal feed a nd looped pile cotton fabrics.
Mauritius’ main suppliers were Kenya (25.7%), Egypt (23.8%), Madagascar (16.3%) and Seychelles (14.3%). Its imports from Kenya consisted mainly of cigarettes while cement, urea, cleaning preparations and iron bars constituted the main pro ducts imported from Egypt.
Frozen yellow fin tunas and frozen skipjack were the main products imported from Seychelles.
Trade with countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for th e year 2008 showed a deficit of US$206 million, resulting from imports of a valu e of US$390 million and exports worth US$184.3 million.
The main supplier was South Africa (85.6%) and the main buyers were Madagascar ( 59.5%) and South Africa (36.4%).